Home Foreign News Hearing On Liberia’s War Crimes Court: Takes Place In US Today … Allen White, Adama Kiatamba Dempster, Other Witnesses To Speak

Hearing On Liberia’s War Crimes Court: Takes Place In US Today … Allen White, Adama Kiatamba Dempster, Other Witnesses To Speak

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By Linda Gbartie

MONROVIA: The United States Government, through the Tom Lantos Human Rights Committee (TLHRC) on Foreign Affairs of the American House of Representatives will today, June 13, 2024, hold a hearing for the establishment of the War and Economic Crimes Court for Liberia.

The hearing, titled: “Next Steps Towards Accountability for War and Economic Crimes,” will be held at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C., United States of America.

It is intended for witnesses to examine the legacy of Liberia’s civil wars on its people and economy and the next steps for the new Office of a War and Economic Crimes Court, and offer recommendations to the United States Congress.

The hearing will also provide a platform for witnesses to share their insights and expertise on the current state of accountability in Liberia and the steps that need to be taken to ensure justice for the victims.

It can be recalled that on May 2, 2024, President Joseph Nyuma Boakai signed an Executive Order to establish the Office of a War and Economic Crimes Court.

The WCC office is responsible to investigate, design, and prescribe the methodology, mechanisms, and the processes for the establishment of a Special War Crimes Court, as well as a National Anti-Corruption Court.

The hearing will be hosted by Members of United States Congress and Co-chairs on the Tom Lantos Human Rights Committee, Chris Smith and James P. McGovern.

The first panelists and witnesses to attend the hearing and provide recommendations to the U. States Congress for the establishment of the WECC in Liberia will include Dr. Alan White, Co-Executive Director for the Advocacy Foundation for Human Rights (non-profit organization), who is also former Chief of Investigations of the United Nations backed Special Court for Sierra Leone; Adama Kiatamba Dempster, National Secretary General, Civil Society Human Rights Advocacy Platform of Liberia; Yahsyndi Martin-Kpeyei, Executive Director of the Movement for Justice for Liberia; Alvin Smith, Chief Investigator for the International Justice Group (NGO); Michael Rubin, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute; and Elizabeth Evenson, Director, International Justice Program, Human Rights Watch.

The hearing will be hybrid and members of Congress are expected to participate in person and as well witnesses may participate in person or remotely via Cisco WebEx.

The public and the media have also been asked to attend the hearing either in person or view it through live webcast on the Commission website.

The hearing is expected to also be available for viewing on the House Digital Channel service.

In recent decades, Liberians have suffered untold human rights violations while perpetrators acted with near-complete impunity during the country’s multiple civil wars.

Between 1989 and 2003, 250,000 Liberians died from the fighting, and thousands more were conscripted as child soldiers, raped, suffered loss of limbs, and endured other traumatic experiences.

Since that time, not a single war crimes trial has occurred in Liberia as part of the country’s judicial process.

However, several Liberians home and abroad are looking forward to the witnesses and panelists for valuable contributions to the hearing.

Liberians believe that the witnesses will proffer concrete reasons or recommendations that will convince the U.S Government to endorse and financially support the establishment of the WECC in Liberia.

According to Liberians both home and abroad, the U.S hearing is a fulfilling day for Liberia for the culture of impunity and injustices to come to an end.

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